Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Best of the Worst

I have a new favorite worst movie of all times. I know it will show how behind the curve I am but I just discovered that you can get video podcasts from iTunes. I came across one called “Matinee Movies” which has provided me the most amusement I’ve had for ages. First there was “Luck of the Irish” or some such. Then there was “Dr. Kildare’s Strange Case” where he discusses providing insulin shock therapy to a man who’s mentally deranged (the proof of which is a whole different discussion).

But the cream of the crop has been a movie that barely even deserves the designation as a ‘B’ movie called “The Horrors of Spider Island.” It’s a 1962 cross between SciFi and Beach Barbi Bingo. It starts out with Gary and his lovely assistant Georgia auditioning dancers for a troop going to Singapore. Considering all one ‘dancer’ does to audition is to take off her dress, you can imagine how impressive this dance troop is. Her name, by the way, is Babs and you want to keep an eye out for her because she’s involved in the most memorable line of the whole movie a little later on.

Anyway, on the flight to Singapore, the plane crashes (of course) and they bob around in the lifeboat (hair, clothing and heels in tact) until they come across an island. Big Gary, strapping young man that he is and without his shirt, has to carry all of the poor helpless ladies ashore. But at least he does it without disturbing above mentioned hair, clothing and heels. They gather strength to explore the island and come across a cabin which contains, much to their horror (thus the title – get it?) a dead man caught in a giant spider web (get it?). As they read his diary they realize he was on this remote island mining for uranium. Now Gary had already guessed there must be uranium so he’s a smart joe (not to be confused with Joe – he comes later).

The women recover enough to get into bikinis (or maybe it was just underwear – I don’t know what 1962 underwear looks like) and make passes at Gary. Georgia, Gary’s assistant and love interest, catches him kissing one of the girls and he walks off with the professor’s gun to cool his heels. On his travels he comes across a giant spider (title – get it?) and shoots it. But somehow, in shooting it, he becomes a spider man (but not in the good way). Spiders, evidently, don’t wear shirts but they do have hairy faces and fangs (looked a bit like a werewolf spider, actually).

The girls just don’t know what to do. They’re helpless and stalk around the island not knowing what to do. But don’t worry. They won’t be alone for long.

Unbeknownst to the girls, 2 research assistants (Joe and Bob) get dropped off at the island to assist the professor in his research. We discover that the research ship is going to pick them up 2 days later but don’t worry, they’ve brought plenty of supplies, including a case of whiskey. Sounds like some sort of research, doesn’t it? Imagine their surprise when they discover the professor has been killed by some giant spider but the island is populated by this randy bunch of beautiful women with no man to protect them. I haven’t yet mentioned the groovy music but this was the early ‘60s and the music will have you moving.

I’m going to just sum up to say they dance and carouse and drink whiskey until one of the men falls for the ‘innocent’ Ann. Babs (remember her? the sometimes stripper?) tries to lure him with her wily ways but he resists her. Ann doesn’t know this until Babs tells her which results in the best line of the movie: “Is it really true, Babs?” Really, that’s the best line. Honest.

It winds up with the spider man chasing Gladys to her death and then the women chasing the spider man with torches into the bog because there is a bog on this remote tropical island (who knew?). The spider man sinks into the bog and the research ship comes and picks everyone up and the rest of them live happily ever after. I’m just assuming the ever after. They didn’t say that, I’m just sure it must be after surviving a downed ship in the ocean, days on a raft and the Horror of Spider Island.

No comments: